Boutique hotels often nestle inside buildings with a story and offer something special beyond standard accommodations in terms of service and décor. You can indulge yourself at an out-of-the-ordinary property in Oklahoma’s capital city, off historic Route 66 in Tulsa and in small towns nearby.
Oklahoma City’s first skyscraper underwent a $16 million renovation to morph into the contemporary-style Colcord Hotel located near Bricktown -- the city's historic warehouse district turned entertainment area. The Colcord is among the Historic Hotels of America and on the National Register of Historic Places. Amenities include fitness and business centers, which stay open around-the-clock. The gourmet French restaurant, La Baguette, operates under restaurateur brothers Alain and Michel Buthion. The Myriad Botanical Gardens, NBA games at the Ford Center and the Philharmonic Orchestra are all within walking distance.
Price Tower, located an hour north of Tulsa in Bartlesville, was Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece known as the “tree that escaped the crowded forest” -- the only skyscraper realized by the famed architect. The Inn at Price Tower, a boutique hotel of 19 guest rooms, opened in 2006 in the then 50-year old building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The lofted accommodations designed with Frank Lloyd Wright-style elements by New York architect Wendy Evans Joseph are situated on seven of the tower’s upper floors and include two-story suites. Admission to Price Tower Arts Center is included in your room rate, and you can make reservations for a complimentary docent-led tour of the building. Savor Oklahoma prairie views, food and cocktails at the penthouse-level Copper bar. Nearby points of interest include the Theater Bartlesville, which produces four to five shows each year, and nearly a dozen antiques retailers.
An hour's drive southeast of Oklahoma City in Tecumseh is the Maverick Hotel, opened in 2007, from a converted 1896 building that was once the Maverick Saloon. The hotel operators aimed to "bring the feel of the big city to small town America" when creating the Maverick in the town that has just 6,500 residents and "a church on every corner," according to its website. Two loft-style suites feature exposed brick walls and a walk-in shower finished with imported tile. Barbecue and Mexican restaurants are within walking distance of the property. Make an appointment or stop in on Saturday to tour the small town's historic center on South Broadway. Casino gambling is a short drive away at Firelake Grand and Riverwind casinos.
The Hotel Ambassador originally opened in 1929 as an extended-stay hotel and became a senior retirement home before closing in 1987. After a $5.5 million renovation in 1997, developer Paul Coury reopened the landmark lodging. Guest rooms feature bathrooms finished with Italian marble. The European-inspired Chalkboard Restaurant at the hotel received best restaurant accolades from Oklahoma Magazine. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to take you to the area's popular dining and shopping district at Brookside and Cherry streets and the open-air Utica Square, or the Performing Arts Center.
- Oklahoma Official Travel Site: Oklahoma's Boutique Hotels
- Colcord Hotel
- "Oklahoma 3"; David Fitzgerald and Jane Jayroe; 2006
- Bartlesville: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower
- The Maverick Hotel: Accommodations
- Hotel Ambassador: Accommodations
- A timed exposure of downtown Oklahoma city at night. image by JKeen from Fotolia.com